Monday, 24 October 2016

Dread Ram - CR 8 (Large Undead)

Another monster from the 3.0 Ghostwalk sourcebook, Dread Rams are large undead warbeasts, animated by high level necromancers. In my game, they are another of Jantherak's creations, used to smash through troop formations, and to offer cover to infantry as they moved towards enemy positions during the Guild Wars.

Chef's Tip: You do not want to touch the rack that comes from this lamb...

In later ages, they would serve as mounts for necromancers, and indeed, were hired out to those with the coin by certain enterprising groups with access to the rituals needed to create and control them. Dread Rams are a common sight amongst the Thornyr; raised by their shaman to serve as guardians, and large herds of these things are said to wander the Northern Devastation of 2nd Age Upper Malgoroth.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Death Hag - Medium Fey (CR 7)

Firstly, sorry for the break in updates. My fourth child was born on Friday so I've been, you know, kinda' busy (and I am consulting the chirurgeon about having my "orbs of life" decommissioned now, if you know what I mean). However, I do have time to post this little horror, which I believe (though I could be very wrong) originally appeared in the Eberron campaign world.

Death Hags are fey imbued with the essence of death. In my games they tend to stick to their own warped realities, occasionally entering the physical plane to seek components, or to wreak a little havoc. Death Hags are often found in the employ of the Cold Lords of the Order of Ravens however, and from time to time, they have made attempts to carve a tiny empire of death in the realms of the living.

She's skin hurts...

One notable Death Hag, who lived in the early (Pre-Sundering) Third Age, was Bulobora. She became infamous after she teamed up with the "Sisters of the Swollen Tongue" (an order of "nuns" dedicated to Sarrax'Thag'Nestra, the God of Disease, Famine and Plagues), and brought several new sicknesses, brewed in her home realm, into the world. These foul plagues (known later as the "Three Tribulations of Bulobora") swept through the southern cities of Fey, especially the city of Jadasvere, with its infamous "Rotting Fields".

Ultimately, Bulobora fell foul of her mortal sponsors, who had worked to craft a disease that could even infect one such as her. Her death came, according to sources from the time (though studying the infected writings of those pestilential priestesses is a risky business), slowly, with her choking on her own liquefying lungs, and rupturing her own ribs as they too turned to slime, and were torn apart by her coughs.

Anyways, here are the stats.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Wyrd - Medium Undead (CR 6)

Basic D&D had some brilliant monsters, many of which would never make it into the "Advanced" version of the game. In truth, the Wyrd did make the jump, appearing in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium, probably because it is a really cool monster.

"I'm so cool, I give 0 degrees Kelvin frostbite...well, that's what my mum says anyway."
The official descriptions for these monsters say they are the corpses of elves (or aelwyn in my games), that have been reanimated by powerful undead spirits. In the canon, there are two versions, lesser and greater, the lesser not being able to paralyse with their attacks. I did away with this, and combined the two, to give a monster that is, I feel, a little more rounded. Of course, if you wanted to recreate this, you could make a version that only has one attack or the other, those throwing the Erubescent Orbs being the lesser, those throwing the Sickly Orbs, the greater. 

Anyway, have fun!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Unburied - Large Undead (CR 8)

Diablo III, is an awesome game, that features so many fantastic monsters that I could spend a solid week converting them all for D&D. However, the Unburied are one of my favourites, both because they kick serious ass, and because they remind me a little of the infamous Nightmare Amalgams conjured by my own game world's arch-necromancer, Jantherak "The Shade Binder" - albeit, a much smaller, much, much weaker version.

"Oh, oh, it's 'Gangam Style'. I love this one. Come on, dance with me..."
Click on the link above for the official lore on these things. In my games, they are either the deliberate creations of necromancers (I can see the Order of Ravens, as well as their splinter faction, the Ravensoul Cabal, making great use of these as guardians and tanks), or the produce of accumulating necrotic energy and mass graves. Indeed, I could see these things wandering in small packs in the infamous "Northern Devastation" of Second Age Upper Malgoroth, crushing anyone unlucky or foolish enough to encounter them. 

So, as they appear in the game, they are straight up melee opponents, which is fine, but for me, a bit boring. Hence, I have added the (slightly complex but worth it) Necrotic  Overflow ability, and a few other appropriate bits and pieces. I hope this is all good. 

Right, let's get SSSSSPOOOOOOKKKKKKYYYYYYY.....*ahem*

Friday, 7 October 2016

Carnivorous Web (Duleep) - Medium Monstrosity (CR 2)

"I said 'I want to surf the web', not thiiiiiiiis aaaaaaaaargh!"

It's a long running joke that you should trust nothing in D&D, and let's be honest, with Mimics, House Hunters, Xavers, Trappers, Lurkers, Piercers, Cloakers, Aballin, Lock Lurkers, and so many other beasts that appear to be harmless things just waiting to strike by surprise, its no wonder. The Carnivorous Web is another beastie that belongs to that club; a strange, fibrous thing that lurks in abandoned buildings and caverns, feeding on the local wildlife and / or passing adventurers.

Haunted houses of course always feature plenty of webs, often without spiders being present, and these monsters seem to fit in just right at this spooky time of year.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Vile Ritual - Summon Kastighur

"Magic can be manipulated, bound, shaped and unleashed in an almost infinite number of ways, and one of the most common is through the use of ritual. By their nature, rituals are slow, complex affairs, designed to call and shape potent energies far too wild or overwhelming for simple, rapid casting. Although many rituals are beneficial in nature, for many, they are synonymous with that most dangerous and wretched of arcane castings - the summoning of daemons."

- From Practical Arcane Theory for Students (Fifth Edition); UO Printing

Ok, so, if you click on the link below you will access a description of a vile ritual that allows characters (or enemies) to summon a single Kastighur daemon. It's not a nice ritual, and although on the grand scale of things, it's far from the nastiest thing I have put in my games, it does contain some ideas and imagery that some might find upsetting or triggering. 

D&D is meant to be fun, and it's important that everyone agrees to the tone of the game and its contents. If you think you might find reference to human sacrifice, daemonic summonings or the materials needed for such upsetting or offensive, don't click on the link below...

...However, If Not....

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Kastighur - Huge Fiend (CR 15)

The 3.5 Monster Manual IV held a couple of new daemons that kinda' flew under the radar really. One of these was the brutish Kastighur; a towering horror of heavy muscle, bearing a flat skulled head clad in thick, daemonic plate. Able to swat foes with its iron clad fists, or gut them with its long, straight horns, it's the perfect brute for a daemonic siege - or, as you will see in the next item - as an instrument of terror for a diabolic cult or similar.

"Ugh man! I trod in one. Sick dude. You can never get the stench off your hooves. Gross!"

These daemons can inflict Vile Damage by the way, though are in no way diminished if you change this to another damage type (maybe more bludgeoning, bane bludgeoning or necrotic?)

Monday, 3 October 2016

Vile Damage (5th Edition)

What follows are my 5e rules for Vile Damage, a type of damage originally outlined in the 3.0 Book of Vile Darkness. I have a post coming soon that will make some use of this, though be warned, it is something a little more "grimdark" that the usual stuff here. 
And so...


Vile damage represents harm so utterly abominable, so purely soaked with undiluted evil, that it simply cannot be healed naturally. In game terms, hit points or ability scores reduced by vile damage do not return over time, cannot be healed by spending hit dice, and can only be healed by magic within the area of an active Hallow spell, or if the healing is cast within 1 round of the target receiving a Lesser Restoration spell.

Desiccator - Small Undead (CR 1)

Time for another horror from Libris Mortis; the Desiccator - the sorrowful soul of a water elemental that has been slain through dehydration.

About the size of a toddler, these things score multiple points on the "Disturb-O-Meter" having no facial features other than their gaping, sucking mouth, being mottled and cracked like a bloating cadaver, and for being rather alien in their focus. 

Personally I like 'em. 

Where could such things be used? A few ideas that pop immediately into my mind include;

* They are servants of an evil Sha'ir who hates all things water and enjoys their pain and torment
* Lost souls wandering the halls of a once mighty Marid stronghold, drawn into a doldrum or other necrotic realm
* An unexpected bonus battle after a golem, supposedly animated by a living elemental is slain
* The familiar for a lich with a penchant for elemental servants

Stat time!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Brain in a Jar - CR 4 (Tiny Undead)

It's heading towards Halloween, and that means spooooookiness and ghosty things. I've decided to focus over the next month therefore on more horrific material, including I hope, 5e conversions of a bunch of old undead, as well as a few new ones of my own devising. To kick things off, here is a beauty from Libris Mortis, a trope of both horror and sci-fi - a disembodied brain in a jar of strange fluids, that can strike at foes with its uncanny powers.

I'm a huge Lovecraft fan, so automatically find myself thinking about the poor souls in the brain cylinders in The Whisperer in Darkness, though I could also see these things being the failed attempts of an artificer or alchemist to achieve a form of immortality, a victim of an illithid attack that has somehow survived and been forced into their strange existence (likely on the look out for a new body), or even an unconventional phylactery for a defeated Lich, that has not been able to form a new body. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Dusk Widow - CR 1/2 (Small Beast)

"The Dismal was an eerily beautiful realm, where nature had taken quite a different path. Many of the lifeforms there were nightmarishly elegant things, who's forms were a strange poetry, described by the dim light and shifting shadows of that place. Others, like the Dusk Widows, were nightmare reflections of all that I hated in our world"

- From Journeys Through the Fey by Guido Jedezzo, Bard of the Vaedeci.

Dusk Widows are darkly shimmering arachnids native to fey dimensions such as the Feywild. They have a bulbous body and relatively small heads studded with eight shimmering eyes. Their slender fangs however are rather oversized and sickle shaped - all the better for slipping through the flesh of their victims.

These are something I created for the PUG, though whether they are friend or foe is yet to be revealed.

Everyone loves spiders!!!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Destrachan - Large Monstrosity (CR 5)

Eyeless and weird, Destrachans are, I believe, unknown to D&D before 3rd Edition (one of a couple of new monsters that were decidedly odd, found in the Monster Manual). I have often come close to using them, but so far, never quite got chance - though they are definitely in the near future for at least one of the groups I GM for.

Anywho, here are my 5th Edition stats for this quite deadly enemy. Enjoy!

It's like a snapdragon and a leech made sweet forbidden love and had a horrible baby.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Egarus (Void Mould) - A Horrible Thing from Planescape

Planescape is beloved for good reason. It introduced another amazing setting (actually building on the foundations laid before in products such as AD&D's Manual of the Planes) and introduced an amazing cast of new monsters, universes, magics and allies. 

It also introduced some truly deadly hazards, many of which were, in truth, too vicious to use in many settings. One of these was the Egarus fungus...

Egarus is, to put it simply, a fungus that cannot tolerate anything other than nothingness. Planescape cannon suggests it started as an Abyssal fungus that was carried into the Plane of Vacuum, that adapted to survive in that utterly inhospitable environment, and learned to sustain itself on nothingness, actually seeing any kind of "something" as a threat. Thus was the Egarus - an organism that just wants to return any non-void environment into a vacuum state - born.

I have no idea where (or even if) I would use this, but here is my 5e take on this horrible, horrible organism...and even a little bit about where it may possibly lurk in my game universe. 

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It's here already!!!!
EGARUS FUNGUS (Void Mould): Grows in clusters of 1d3 patches, each one occupying a roughly 5ft area. Whenever anything other than vacuum comes within 25ft of it, it begins to attack, affecting things in the following order, one per round, acting on Initiative count 20. If there are multiple possible targets in range, it attacks one at random, though always in the order outlined below;

1st: Energy: one source of light or energy, or one active spell, or magical / psionic effect within range ends.

2nd: Life: One living thing within the area must make a D.C. 18 Constitution saving throw or begin to suffer 55 (5d10) bane force damage at the start of each of their turns. Once they have begun to take damage, the target must receive either a Greater Restoration or a Wish spell, or the damage continues until they are destroyed. They are slain and destroyed when they reach 0 hit points, and can only be returned to life through the use of a Wish or similar.

3rd: Materials: Five cubic foot of material within range is disintegrated. Magical items may attempt a D.C. 18 Saving throw against Force damage to avoid this. When the Egarus disintegrates the ground on which they lie, they fall and continue to grow on the new surface.

Each time a single target (regardless of what it is) is consumed by the fungus, it spreads to an adjacent area, in effect, forming another 5ft patch of Egarus.

Disintegrate, finger of death, greater restoration, lightning bolt, power word kill, shocking grasp spells destroy a patch instantly, as does the application of any acid, alcohol, lightning attack, or even a large amount of water (at least 60 gallons). Hold monster or slow stop the egarus from attacking. The fungus is immune to cold, fire, physical attacks, and most spells other than those discussed above.

When anyone attacks the Egarus, it forces them to make a D.C. 18 Wisdom saving throw, failure indicating that they suffer 55 (10d10) bane force damage as teleports random areas of their body away.

Egarus are usually only encountered in void dimensions, such as the Plane of Vacuum or certain planes of imprisonment. However, there are unsubstantiated claims that Egarus may have been “accidentally” sealed in with the contents of several of the hidden Guild Vaults, and that when they are opened and returned to the physical plane, they will be full of nothing but boiling, black Egarus – and oblivion). Clearly, the opening of such infected vaults would be catastrophe capable of ending the world if it occurred.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Tsucora Quori - Medium Fiend (CR 7)

Another of the Quori, these dudes are not only hideously ugly, but can kill you with your own nightmares! In my games, they are the servants of Xix, God of Madness and Daccadex'Telesgoth, the God of Terror, often being used as assassins and guardians.

The lobster was definitely told me so

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Tsoreva Quori - Medium Fiend (CR 5)

It's not a secret that the official D&D worlds that comes closest to my homebrew world is a combination of Eberron, Spelljammer and Planescape (with a lot of Warhammer and Call of Cthulhu style hijinks rolled in). When Eberron hit the shelves I was amazed at how good it was, and also, overjoyed at how much of the crunch would be useful for my games.

As always thought, it was the monsters that I was most interested in, and the Quori were a group of nasties that I particularly liked. I loved the fact that they were something other than typical daemons and devils, but were still potent, terrifying and satisfyingly weird. I also loved the the fact that they had some genuinely cool attacks and were largely psionic enemies.

Anyway, the PUG have just completed a mission to take out a warlock who draws his power from Eshebra;

"Eshebra (All Ages) [Eh – SHEB – ruh]: The Mother of Nightmares, Night Shadow, Unseen Dread, Mistress of Crawling Fear. Eshebra is an Arch-Fey that rules her own warped demi-plane. She is served by all kinds of dark fey, as well as by her mortal servants. Her colours are dark purple, indigo, silver and black. She has a fey sigil, and identifies with the bat, spider and all kinds of black serpents. Her commonly used symbol amongst mortals is a stylised eye dripping three tears, held within a circle of thorny vines from which protrude sixteen black thorns".

They had battled their way through chambers once held by The Unseen, a Juiblex cult, but now warped into the warlock's own demesne by his and his patron's power, and eventually came to a chamber studded with eyes and gibbering mouths, where reality was buckling and dissolving like a bad acid trip around them. There, they faced off against these beauties, as well as Tsucora Quori, and a monster from the excellent Tome of Beasts, called  a Fear Monger. 

It was awesome! 

It was also bloody close!

Anyway, I thought I would share the stats of the main force that Sami de Vert kept by his side - the blade-armed, ass kicking Tsoreva Quori. 

Something you do not want to see under a stone, scuttling towards your trouser're....a giant?

Friday, 9 September 2016

A Bit More Lore

The following are from my notes for the current adventure that Ormid and the gang are about to head off on. 70C-70c has already given this information, so there are no spoilers. However, I wanted to share, as it casts a wee bit of light on a part of my world that rarely gets seen. I also really enjoyed writing it.

"Almost a thousand years before, during the Age of Loss, the Vaesuurian's made a concerted effort to invade Talakasia and to wipe out the Talakasian Taurgaryn. They started their efforts by whipping the savage Taurag tribes into a religious fervour, and – through trickery and illusion – persuading them to attack their civilised cousins. The ancient “Kin Wars” (or “kine wars” as the Vaesuurians mockingly refer to them) were a terrible time for the Talakasian's and they nearly fell when a large force of Vaesuurian troops landed on the North-eastern coast and moved inland, using the cover of the major battles to hide their movements (it was this action that lead to the foundation of the fortress city of Tarr'Ghora, the Citadel of Machines, and the construction of the many hundreds of miles of fortifications along that coast).

During these wars, many great heroes arose. Amongst them was Krull Throgan; a mighty warrior who worshipped both Shorrog'Karr (Talakasian deity of battle) and Baphomet (deity of bloodlust and hatred). He rose to fame for his terrible prowess, and became a national hero when he slew the Vaesuurian Arch-Mage Khalstandar Veggott at the Battle of the God Horns in -994 N.C.

To reward him for his bravery and protection, a beautiful, terrible greatsword was forged for Krull, wrought from Grey Steel, and empowered with an aeon shard that had always been a national treasure and which was known as the Eye of Kaesh'Talak. Awarded to him in a great victory celebration after the Vaesuurian plan was defeated, the hero bore it for many decades.

Alas, in -953 N.C., an ageing Krull was killed by his own Son (also named Krull). Krull took the blade and offered it as sacrifice to the daemon Baphomet. Pleased, the deity corrupted the aeon stone, infusing it with the sentience of a potent daemon under his control, warping the once heroic blade, before gifting it to the treacherous taurgaryn. For six years, Krull, Second of his name, bore the blade (now fearfully named “Azduth” - “Betrayal”) and sowed death and mayhem wherever he and his group of berserks went. He eventually fell in a battle against the Talak'Gheshir, who were lead by his own younger sister, Bardrada – a warrior of Kaesh'Talak.

Sorrowfully, Bardrada returned the cursed blade to Talakar, where it has been kept hidden ever since – locked in a spell warded vault only accessible by the highest ranking Consuls of the Theocratic Assembly. Getting the blade and accessing the stone will not be easy, for there are non in that place that would see its evil unleashed again."

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Kamadan - Large Monstrosity (CR 3)

Another of the oddballs from the original Fiend Folio, this thing has lurked in my world in the deepest jungles and most eclectic of monstrous collections. Indeed, it's been so rare, that I don't think I have ever used it.

Anyway, it's a big cat with snakes growing from its shoulders, and a breath weapon that can put you to sleep, because....reasons...

I will be using this soon, so I hope you find a place for it too!

The worst thing about a pet Kamadan is, they s**t everywhere.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Vacancy - Level 4 Illusion

Just writing something for one of my games, and whilst detailing one area realised that this spell isn't in 5e. So, here it is.

4th level Illusion

Sorcerer, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 300ft
Area of Effect: 150ft cube
Components: V, S, M
Saving Throw: Intelligence Negates
Duration: 24 Hours

You mask a chamber or other artificial area in an illusion, making it appear empty, neglected and vacant. As with Hallucinatory Terrain any kind of interaction with the objects masked by this spell reveals the spells’ nature. Otherwise, any suspicions allow an Intelligence saving throw to see through the illusion

At Higher Levels: When cast in a slot of 8th level or higher, the duration increases to Permanent.

Pictured: A throne, three pillars made from carved bone and a small dias.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Gorgoth Handgonne (Grunta) - Martial Weapon (Firearm)

"At first we were somewhat complacent, having battled the greenskins across the world a number of times. We scoffed when our terrified guides told us of their alleged 'Grunta' weapons, and laughed harder when they suggested the dense beasts had learned to make their own crude version of blackpowder. 

"Our  laughter died, along with half our company a few days later, when we were cut down by an explosive rain of rock, bone, metal and tooth fragments, fired from the crude firearms they had made. 

"Our guides were right, and we had been too arrogant to listen. It was a lesson hard learned, and to this day, I will never take any contact with the Gorgoth or their kin lightly."

- From Cold and Frightened - A Questor's Tale by Jelten Vaarde. 

Like this, but more crudely forged, heavier and with more rust / blood / poop

Cost: 300 gp
Range: 50ft cone (shrapnel) or 100/400 (stone shot)
Damage: 3d10 piercing* / 1d8 Bludgeoning (see below)
Weight: 60lbs
Properties: Ammunition, Heavy, Two-Handed, Reload, Special
Special: Reloading the Handgonne requires an action.

There are two types of shot usually fired from these weapons;

*Shrapnel: This ammunition consists of splinters of metal, flint and other sharp debris. When fired, it explodes in a 50ft cone, and automatically hits all within. Creatures in the cone may halve the damage inflicted by making a successful Dexterity saving throw (D.C. = 8 + The shooters Dexterity Bonus. If they are proficient, their proficiency bonus is also added to the D.C.). Creatures between 31ft-50ft only take half damage, and have advantage on their Dexterity saving throws to halve this.

Stone Shot: A handful of stone spheres, which fly up to range, and target 1 creature. This requires an attack roll as normal.

The Handgonne can also be used as a melee weapon, in which case it inflicts 1d8 bludgeoning as base damage.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Earth Elemental Monolith - CR 28 (Gargantuan Elemental)

"In the closing years of the terrible wars between the Eschara and the Emendi, anything went, as each side began to realise that there would be no glorious victory or comfortable state afterwards. And so, in the days before an undocumented magical catastrophe forged what would later be called Zaepheri'Criz [Desert of Blades], their arch mages unleashed ancient beings of terrible power upon one another, hoping, despite the cost of calling them, that each might be the thing that finally brought them to some semblance of a victory..."

From "The Ancient Mage Wars" by an unknown Iradechian historian.

"Biggest bloody pile of rubble I ever had to put down. Would make a lovely feature in some bloody Aelwyn garden though. Probably."

Brundor Trullslayer, Vengeful Cleaving Axe of Thorduin.

*   *   *
I'm pretty sure Elemental Monoliths first appeared in 2nd Edition AD&D's beautiful Al'Quadim setting, as a result of the Unleash Monolith spell (It exists in my 5e games, though as a ritual that requires the lending of  9th level spell slots, potent elemental magics and a bum load of residuum), and whilst bored, I decided to stat up the mostly commonly seen (in my experience) one of the four - the Earth Monolith. 

This thing is basically a living hillside, that wants to smash you and everything else to smithereens...and is entirely capable of doing so. If your GM uses one, you have probably really upset them...or made them very happy (if it's under your control). 

It was at this moment that Ser Belvegrath wished he'd taken up bloody carpentry like his father. Ah well *splat*

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Scare (Illusion Cantrip)

I needed this spell for a monster conversion I am doing, and was surprised not to find it anywhere. Anyway, here you go - an at-will, 1 round fear spell that you can spam again and again if you want!

*    *    *

The illusion of me running at you clad only in my pants (UK version) is truly the vilest of all illusory terrors!

Illusion Cantrip

Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 90 feet
Area of Effect: 1 Creature
Components: V, S, M (small piece of a corporeal undead)
Saving Throw: Yes
Duration: 1 round

This spell exactly duplicates the 3rd level spell Fear, except that it only affects a single target, and only remains active until the start of your next turn.

At Higher Levels: At 5th level, the range increases to 100ft. At 11th level it increases to 120 ft. At 17th level, the range increases to 150ft.

Aspirthane (Mage Throttler, Aether Scorch) - Rare Poison

Aspirthane (Mage Throttler, Aether Scorch) : This rare poison is illegal in many parts of the world - especially those ruled by mages. Indeed, the Unified Order consider it a capital offense to be found in possession of this substance, so baleful is it to those that weave magic.

The origins of Aspirthane are unclear. It is likely it was first formulated by the servants of Convulos'Soth'Khulzad, as so many potent, specialised poisons are. However, there are some that believe it may have been created in another plane, and the secrets of its creation brought back to Arbel'Verdaniss by some foolish soul.

In its purest form, Aspirthane is a thin, slightly silvery fluid that has no smell or taste. In liquid form it is quite volatile, and will readily burn if exposed to heat, rapidly blazing away with a vivid, pure green flame. However, when exposed to open air, it quickly evaporates, forming an invisible, odorless cloud of poison. A standard vial of this substance forms a cloud 60ft in diameter around it over the course of ten minutes, and it remains in place for 1 hour unless there are strong winds or currents present which can scatter it.

Aspirthane is only poisonous to creatures and individuals that channel unnatural energy; namely spell caster's and those individuals or creatures that have any kind of innate supernatural ability or power. Those without any magical ability are entirely immune to its effects.

Those affected by this poison begin to feel its effects 1d10 rounds after first being exposed to it. They become somewhat drowsy and thick headed, and must make a D. C. 17 Constitution saving throw or fall unconscious. Such individuals remain unconscious until they are taken out of the area of the poison (they awaken 1d6 rounds later) . Each round that they begin unconscious due to the effects of this poison, and are still within its area, they must repeat the saving throw or die.
Those that make the initial save will know they are being poisoned, and may act normally. However, each round they begin within the cloud, they must repeat the saving throw or fall victim to the poison's effects.

The most infamous use of this poison was when it was used to murder thirty six high ranking mage's of the Unified Order in the year 1212. A renegade mage named Zerket had been arrested and was facing a show trial before being exposed to the Divorcement ritual, and then executed by burning. However, unbeknownst to his abusers, he had paid a member of staff to open a bottle of Aspirthane in the chamber before the trial - knowing full well that he, as a dangerous mage, would be shrouded in anti-magic (anti-magic deactivates this poison). His plan worked too, and he was able, with the help of a No Breath spell and allies in the city, to make good his escape.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Astral Searcher - CR 2 (Medium Undead)

"She insists it's not him." whispered the priest, casting a worried glance towards the mage, a well respected woman who, until recently, seemed perfectly sane. "She says he's 'wrong' somehow, that he didn't come back from his last metaphysical exercise".

Mother Yvara, Blessed of Namaea'Isaala listened gravely, her ancient features crinkled as she glared at the fourth occupant of the room - the mage's supposed husband - once the wizard Khodesh, now...not. She turned her rheumy eyes towards Jessia, Khodesh' wife, and sadly asked her to come to her side, leaving the grinning not-husband stood alone. 

Then she slowly approached the bearded shell that was once Khodesh, noting the slight look of panic that flashed across his face, and the sudden sweat that beaded his brow. 

"Khodesh? Would you be so good as to let me give you a blessing?"

"Um," he began, " Err...yes?"

Yvara smiled, before ,with a move so swift none - especially the thing in Khodesh' body - could have imagined her capable of it, bringing forth her holy symbol, forcefully pressing it to the wizard's brow, silvery words of divine power spilling from her, the air around them both suddenly gonging with argent, potent power. 

"In the name of the mother of mercy, unborn thing, I address thee, and command thee to depart this form! Begone nameless traveler! Return unto the void from which you were formed! Depart! I abjure three! Ithyrani Debesheckelah Shabbaethonai Namaea!"

Colourless fire seemed to suddenly envelop Khodesh' form, and from his mouth issued a thin, terrible wailing - a sound nothing of the physical plane could make. The air throbbed, seeming to thicken with unnatural power, and somewhere beyond the alien noises rising from the mage, the chapel's wards began to add their own strident song to the cacophony, warning of the presence of an extra dimensional being. 

"Away!" Screamed Yvara, her voice booming and potent, "Into the void I cast thee! Begone foul thing! BEGONE!"

A thunderclap. A blast of silver light and, with a scream so terrible Yvara's assistant fainted dead away, the thing within Khodesh fled, leaving his corpse just that - a lifeless mass of flesh, organs and bone. In an instant, Khodesh' corpse flopped heavily to the ground, the ancient priestess rushing to cradle his head before it was split on the stone pews of the chapel. Jessia also rushed to help, tears streaming down her cheeks, for now, with the entity gone, she could look at somehow returning her beloved husband's soul to his body; could somehow, bring him back.

Days later, and Yvara would summon her acolytes, to teach them of the foul Astral Searchers, how to recognise their presence, and how to remove them, though Brother Altor, the priest who had seen the ritual, was nowhere to be seen, having left the city the day before, in search of a life less fraught with terror...

*    *    *

The Astral Searcher is another 1st Edition horror that appeared in 2nd Edition, and in unofficial 3.5 stuff too (the excellent Denizens of the Transitive Planes by Although I have gone with the idea of these entities, I confess, for my conversion, I basically came up with my own interpretation. 

As for how to get rid of a possessing entity, A Protection from Good and Evil spell can stop the initial possession if cast on the physical form of the projecting individual, and GM's may allow spells such as Dispel Good and Evilto work to cast out such entities. There is always the Exorcism spell from the Book of Lost Spells of course, which is a conversion of the earlier edition spell of the same name. 

Anyway, here are the stats. Enjoy!

"Astrally project" they said, "It's a lot safer than going physically" they said. Yeah, thanks a bunch.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Astral Dreadnought - CR 34 (Gargantuan Aberration)

I did not intend this beast to be this tough, I really didn't. I knew I wanted to convert it as a massive beast, large enough to serve as the foundation for a Githyanki stronghold or similar, or to be able to smash astral ships like an enraged whale, and so, made it physically formidable. I also wanted to keep the essence of its 2nd and 3.5 edition versions, so ensured it still has antimagic and the ability to shred those it grabs with both pincers. Oh, and it still cuts your Astral Cord, dooming you to dissolve into the essence of the plane...

The result of a tryst between a Cocadaemon from the original Doom and Lobster Boy is free in the Astral Plane and looking for fun!

Anyway, as always with monsters over CR 30, I have used my own table of expanded stats to calculate its final stats.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Ash Wraith - CR 4 (Medium Undead)

"We began burning the bodies at first, so they couldn't be raised into the West's service again. We thought we had solved one problem, but, of course, we were wrong. The bastards found a way to stoke the souls from their ashes, and to imbue their mortal remnants into service. This is how we first came to battle the ash wraiths"

- From the personal journal of Ajott Drespal, mage of the Southern Guild.

Ash Wraiths are undead that animate the ashes that remain after their corpses have been destroyed by fire. They are whirling, gusting things of stinging dust and hate, that take on transient, shrouded forms. When they manifest, all flames within twenty paces go out instantly, and a deathly cold charges the air. Sounds seem suddenly muffled, and a sense of dread and hatred radiates from the horror as it rises.

These are something I made up. I am not sorry.

Bonfire night was significantly less fun when the left over energies from Halloween got involved

Monday, 15 August 2016

Balmspine Squirrel - CR 0 (Tiny Beast)

Not all monsters have to be vicious do they? This is something I actually dreamed about, and thought might make a cool focus for an adventure. Maybe a friend or ally of the party has been poisoned by a rare and "incurable" venom, and finding one of these is the only way to save their life? Maybe one of these things escaped from a temple dedicated to the deity of healing (or even - duh, duh duh twist, the deity of poisons), and they want it back?

I dunno'. It's a squirrel...with tiny tooth like spines along its back that secrete anti-toxins...Do what you want with it.

Pictured "Not vicious"

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Crystalion - Large Elemental (CR 15)

So, waaaaay back in the early 1990's, when 2nd Edition AD&D was our game, I devised an epic adventure that saw the group venture into the deadly realms of the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Minerals. Now, for those of you that aren't familiar with that vicious dimension, it's a plane that forms where the Positive Material Plane and the Elemental Plane of Earth meet - a realm of super energised earth that blossoms into crystals harder than adamantium and sharper than a vorpal blade.

Before they even started, they had to work out simple things like "How are we even going to breathe? There's no air there", and "How are we going to avoid being sliced into kibbles by the elemental blades of crystal", and "How do we avoid being murdered by the minions of that realm?"

The reasons they were undertaking this journey were twofold.

Firstly, I had just got Dragon #174, which contained some brutal Quasi-Elemental monsters, a ton of new Ioune Stones and rules about hunting for them, and my players were itching to get their hands on some new, potent magic. Secondly, one of the characters was in the process of forging a legendary blade, and wanted to bathe it in the essence of one of that realms potent monsters.

Through painstaking and expensive research, the group learned of a construct that wandered the radiance bathed edge-realms called....*sigh*....I was 17 when I wrote this ok? The *gag* Rainbow *retch* Golem, and they decided that this potent being was perfect for tempering the blade.

We had fun - massive fun - and it proved to be one damn tough adventure, that saw hardened veterans fall before Energy Pods, Trilling Crysmals and all kinds of other weird things. Eventually they located the delve of know, My Little Pony Golem, and entered, glad to be no longer accumulating temporary hit points from their proximity to the Positive Plane (If you don't know, back then you gained cumulative temporary hit points every round you were exposed to the life infusing rays of that plane. Unfortunately, if you accumulated as many temporary hit points as your maximum hit points, you reached energetic potential and BOOOOM! Exploded).

Image Copyright Wizards of the Coast
Look how happy they are!

After some further horrible experiences, the characters came to a prismatic altar of blazing crystal, upon which stood the object of their hunt, flanked by two magnificent felines, carved it seemed from the very essence of the plane. Each beast had a mane of spun diamond thread, faceted eyes that blazed with radiant power, and claws of sharpened dense elemental crystal.

The final battle began, and everyone focused on the golem, destroying it in less than a round (ouch). However, the guardians - Crystalions - were among them, and that's when the real battle began.

Yep, the BBEG was a damp squib. The "minions" almost killed everyone.

I won't bore you with the details of their escape, or the casualties when they opened an Ioune Stone geode back in the Prime which unleashed a blast of deadly energy. However, Crystalions are cemented in by players minds, and now, they can be cemented in your players mind / nightmares too.

Image From:
Turns out there are not any cool crystal lion images on Google.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Thrax - Medium Undead (CR 4)

Dark Sun has more than a few awesome monsters in it, and the Thrax is actually one of the less cool ones in my opinion. However, I can see a place for these in any desert based adventure, and so, thought I would convert them, drawing more on their 4th Edition incarnation (as "water vampires") than their 2nd Edition incarnation. You can of course ignore the undead traits (all the immunities), and keep it as a living humanoid if you want to keep them closer to the original source.

Note: This image is not blurry because of its low's errr...using its Roiling Shadows power...

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Overseer - Huge Aberration (CR 21)

One of the creepiest beholder-kin in my opinion was the Overseer; a rubbery tree thing with eyeballs on the end of its branches, tentacles and huge chomping mouths - the love child of a dark young of Shub-Niggurath and an Eye Tyrant.

As the entities that rank just below Hive Mothers and Elder Orbs in "Horrible things you never ever want to encounter", they are 100% awesome, and without giving anything away, I have placed them in a future dungeon for one of my lucky groups.

Anyway, I did a conversion when 5e was young, and reading it today, I felt it lacked any real punch ( a consequence I suspect of not really having a full feel for the system at that time). So, I have re-created this nightmare, giving it legendary actions, and making its eye powers a little more vicious. Xareth'Chelde by the way is the name for Beholders and their kind in my campaign world (Chelde is the "Mother of Horrors"; the nightmare god-thing some demented Hive Mother's call their Goddess, and Xareth means something along the lines of "Child of").

"Tie a yellow ribbon, round the ole' oak tr-aaah-aaaaaaah-AAAAARGH!"